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Organizational Structure

Analysis Exercise

by
Steven L. McShane
University of Western Australia
Perth, Australia

This case may be used by current adopters of:


S. L. McShane Canadian Organizational Behaviour, 5th ed. (Toronto: McGraw-Hill
Ryerson, 2004); S. L. McShane & M. A. von Glinow, Organizational Behavior, 3rd ed.
(Boston: McGraw-Hill, 2005); S. L. McShane & T. Travaglione, Organisational
Behaviour on the Pacific Rim, 1st ed. (Sydney: McGraw-Hill Australia, 2003)
Copyright 2004 McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited

Organizational Structure Analysis Exercise

Organizational Structure
Analysis Exercise
By Steven L. McShane, The University of Western Australia
Purpose
This exercise is designed to help you to identify and describe the basic elements of
organizational structure.

Instructions
The instructor should form teams of 4 or 5 participants one week or more before this
exercise is discussed. Each team chooses an organization and reports its findings for
discussion. Publicly traded companies should be selected because their annual reports
are often the most informative sources about organizational structures. Team members
should also search through online full-text newspaper and magazine databases to find
articles about the firm. Through these sources, team members should be able to answer
many of the questions listed below.

Organizational Structure Questions


Departmentation
1. Diagram the top levels of the organizational chart, based on the available information.
2. Many large organizations are hybrids, but they still emphasize one pure type more
than others. Does the organizational chart represent a predominantly functional,
divisionalized, or matrix structure? If a divisionalized form is emphasized, does it
focus on clients, products, or geography?
3. If a matrix structure is used, which functional units are involved?
4. Does the organization make much use of the network structure? If so, what aspects of
the organizations activities are contracted out?

Span of Control
1. Is this a tall or flat organization? How many hierarchical levels does it seem to have?
2. Has the organization recently increased or decreased its span of control? If so, what
reasons were given for this change?

Copyright 2004 McGraw-Hill Australia Pty Limited

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Organizational Structure Analysis Exercise

Centralization
1. In general, does this organization have centralized or decentralized decision making?
2. To what extent to nonmanagement employees participate in organizational decisions?

Formalization
1. Does this organization make extensive use of rules and procedures to organize and
coordinate work activities? If so, provide examples.
2. Do nonmanagement employees have much discretion over their work or do they act
mainly on programmed decisions?

Copyright 2004 McGraw-Hill Australia Pty Limited

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